Saturday, July 24, 2010

It's Raining Daffodils

Reminiscing on my rainy days experiences in a tropical country where I have lived most of my life. It's rainy season  there now, and the awareness of it reminds me of this memoir that I have written a few years ago.

My mind was half-awake, my eyes half-open, but my body was still sleeping. I had the sensation that I was lying under a thick blanket of chilly air, which in reality was the cold rainy air seeping through the three-layered fabrics spread over me. And then I heard muffled howls from outside. I suddenly bolted from my bed, headed to the window and looked out. It was raining, and the wind galloped wildly in the open air, bumping with everything along its way. I realized that rainy days have come to stay once again and that was one of the first storms that would visit us this year. And I smiled with myself. How I've loved this season!
"Oh, it's raining again!" "It's terrible!" "It's disgusting!" "I hate rain!" I often hear such expressions of complaints from those who don't like rainy days. And some are shocked or get mad at me whenever I tell them that I love this season, be it soft and misty, when the wind would just gently sway the tops of the trees, or tempestuous rainy days when the furious wind would whirl over the roof and bend all the trees.
For me, the rain is a poetry, with its melodious thudding on the roof, rapping on the window panes or pouring off the eaves. Even the howling of the storm wind accompanying the rain is music to me. The musical pine-scented rain has an electrifying effect on me and sends my emotions spiraling upward into the clear blue sky just beyond the thick clouds, all the while setting off my creative faculties, which would then make lovely thoughts come flying toward me like colorful birds alighting on the branches of a tree.

It's hard to understand what mysterious thing is at work inside me that turns me on whenever the rain comes. Some people growl when it rains, especially on a day when they had planned for some outdoor activities, and they wish to drive the rain away. It's the opposite with me. I growl when it doesn't rain, or when it rarely rains, during the rainy season. This is one season I'm always eagerly waiting for, and I often feel disappointed when it doesn't come. I wouldn't want to miss that mystical feeling the rain would generate inside me nor would I want to miss going out in the rain and walk up and down the road with my umbrella up, and feel the tempestuous wind beating against it and the streaming waters sluicing past my feet and legs. I like being out in the rain, when I can feel the light sprays of water on my face or catch the silvery liquid in my palm. I also like being shut in by the rain when I would just stay home the whole day reading a lot or writing all the beautiful thoughts that are sizzling in my brain. Or I would take out my recent photographs and create artistic scrapbooks and photo journals, or I would finish all those projects that I haven't touched for months - the handcrafted novelties and decorations that have been piled up on my working table.
Far from being a boring day, the rainy season opens up opportunities for creative and heartwarming activities. I have that lingering memory of years gone by when I was a little kid in the province, and I would run out with my relatives into the rain, bathing and playing, chasing one another and making paper boats which we floated on the rivulet of rain water streaming down the canal along the street. We would watch them sail away until they went out of sight. Such a heartwarming rainy day reminiscences!

Rainy seasons would come and go, carrying me along with them in their eternal voyage into the future, and each time the season would stop by in midyear, I would savor its magical sensation that flows throughout my body. Sometimes, when I was still a student and classes were cancelled because a storm was in its full fury, all of us in the family would stay home and play scrabble from morning to evening, the muffled roaring of the wind serving as our background music, which was an aid to my concentration as I tried to mentally juggle my letters to form words. Such activities also helped me discover difficult words at an early age and helped keep our family intact. While playing, my mother would cook a hodgepodge of snacks which we devoured during our breaks. At other times, we just gathered around our dining table or huddled together in our sofa and told stories while eating popcorns, peanuts or watermelon seeds.

These are the homely joys that can possibly come about during the rainy days. And there are other hundreds of wholesome and therapeutic things to do - some hobbies that are being neglected on fine days. Or we can prowl within the confines of our minds and see if we have hidden talents that need to be developed and start making use of them.

Rain is not a nuisance but a part of nature's way of breaking the year-long weather monotony, which brings along with it refreshment in the daytime and lullaby in the night as we go to sleep. An aerial bath in a rainy night washes our souls free of the bitterness of the preceding day. Was it Longfellow who said, "Into each life, some rain must fall; some days must be dark and dreary."? I believe that even when the days are dark and dreary, and I'm inside the house, I can see visions of rainbows and flowers and sunshine surrounding me as I solitarily engage in some fruitful activities. And I can see delightful things all around me. I enjoy looking at the sparkling pine needles as the rains trickle on them and coat them with silver. I can see the wild beauty of the surroundings as the field bursts into verdant vegetations in their charming lushness, which would then reach up to a blissful flourish of colorful flowers that would set our minds in anticipation of abundant harvest of their fruits as the season comes to its close.

Such loveliness always reminds me of the lines of Robert Loveman's poem: "It is not raining rain for me; it's raining daffodils." Yes, in my mind, the raindrops metamorphose into daffodils, those bright golden flowers that blanket a vast field, gracefully dancing in the breeze. And my heart also dances with happiness on rainy days.